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Although it’ll be receiving a few more tweaks over the coming weeks, the new SpiroFlo.com is live! We’ve got sections on how the SpiroFlo device provides homes with a faster, better shower with green benefits as well as sections on how the SpiroFlo device removes biofilm in industrial applications. Be sure to come on by and see how shiny it is.

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Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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SpiroFlo reports on southeast England’s decision to send out 30,000 waterproof timers in an attempt to encourage shorter showers (to save water during their drought).

Although we’ve reported primarily on droughts in the U.S., it’s interesting to see how other parts of the world respond to water shortages.

After two dry winters, southeast England—the most populated area of Britain—was declared in drought (while the northwest and Scotland experienced more rainfall than normal). This drought, so far, has led to increased wildfires, low reservoirs, and increased fish deaths (correlating to higher food prices). With the 2012 Summer Olympics scheduled to take place in London, water companies are scrambling to find new ways to save water.

According to The Telegraph, a U.K. newspaper (with yes, U.K. spelling), the “average person in the UK uses a huge amount of water, using up 150 litres of water a day compared to just 127 litres per person in Germany.”

With this in mind, the two major water companies in the affected areas—Anglican Water and Southeast Water—sent out 30,000 free waterproof timers in the last year to make people aware of spending less time in the shower. Based on manufacturing and shipping costs, this move can’t have been cheap, but in this case, water is the rarer commodity.

This type of waste awareness tactic is not unique. Most people learned, at some point, to save water by taking showers instead of baths, completely loading the dishwasher, fixing leaky faucets, and turning off the tap while their brushing teeth. Expecting people to stick to a four-minute shower, however, might be a tougher sell. Much like regulations on watering lawns, these types of changes have a harder acceptance rate and some wind up enforced as water laws.

Another part of the problem is that many of the “standard” water-saving technologies have run their course. There are only so many low-flow shower heads and toilets to install; it’s time for new water- and energy-saving technologies.

Given that SpiroFlo is one of those water- and energy-saving technologies, I’ll close with a quick plug:

The Colorado Governor’s Energy Office awarded SpiroFlo a grant through the Innovative Funding for Energy Efficiency (IFEE) program. This grant enabled SpiroFlo to test its water-saving device in homes around the Denver Metro area. During the trial, participants recorded their wait time for hot water at the designated outlet for 5-7 days both before and after the installation of the SpiroFlo device.

The SpiroFlo device in a bypass layout

This IFEE study concluded that the patented SpiroFlo device allows for a faster shower for most homeowners (4 out of 5), all while conserving water, electricity and providing green benefits on day one. The average wait time for hot water in positive installs went down from 62.41 seconds to 40.77 seconds—a 34.82% reduction. In addition to the wait time benefits, there is also an average water volume savings of 3.5% at every hot water outlet in the house. With the combined benefits in wait time and volume savings, a four-person household can conserve an average of 3,869 gallons a year (as well as the energy savings from not having to heat/reheat water). Using these average numbers as the standard, if only 20% of Colorado housing units had a SpiroFlo device installed, this could translate into saving nearly 1.68 billion gallons annually. If every housing unit in the U.S. had a SpiroFlo device, the total amount of water conserved in a year would be over 500 billion gallons.

There are also anecdotal benefits from the SpiroFlo device. These include getting hotter water (confirmed in 40% of trial households), less energy being used to re-heat the water, higher water pressure and softer skin (this benefit was confirmed by a hydrologist). One SpiroFlo installed at the outlet of a hot water tank is a complete system for the whole house. There is no need for the costly modifications and ventilation requirements associated with tankless and recirculating devices. Savvy DIY homeowners are able to install the SpiroFlo device themselves and several plumbers expressed interest in absorbing the cost of the SpiroFlo device within their standard installation costs. The SpiroFlo device has no moving parts, meaning there’s nothing to wear out, nothing to maintain.

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For more on the southeast drought (including a drought and rain map), see The Telegraph’s article “Take an ‘egg timer’ into the shower say water companies as South East declared in drought”

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

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Here’s why we work hard to promote residential hot water savings with the patented, cost-effective SpiroFlo device:

That beer and chocolate better be really good…

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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SpiroFlo looks at some of the marketing strategies in business, how they’ve expanded to green technologies, and when a selling point crosses the line to become an outright lie. With the savings listed on the energy-efficient shower head provided by Xcel Energy, it appears they’ve crossed that line.

When my daughter was in sixth grade, the local energy company, Xcel, handed out a LivingWise kit — basically a box full of energy-efficient devices, including an air filter alarm, a high-efficiency light bulb and a high-efficiency shower head. While I have zero qualms with free stuff — even free stuff with an agenda (side note: anyone with a “free nachos” agenda is welcome to contact me at any time) — I do take issue with blatantly false data; so when I saw the weekly water savings listed on the shower head, I was immediately irritated.

LivingWise kit: Free at school or $5 on Ebay

Most people have seen the diet pill commercial where the girl in the bikini brags about losing dozens of pounds while standing side-by-side with a black-and-white photo of her much larger self from six months back. There’s a chance her frail frame is holding out her old, giant pants, but one thing’s for sure: Most people know those results aren’t typical, and sure enough, when your eyeballs squint at all the tiny words along the bottom of the TV screen, you usually find that the average weight loss on the fad diet pill (which will likely wind up banned by the FDA) is less than 15 pounds — weight that is likely to return.

Thing is, even if you assume these numbers are bogus, you can usually find out the truth (often that the advertised success story is an anomaly and not the norm). With many green technologies, however, I find that the truthful fine print is never available and some of the savings don’t add up. For anyone with even modest experience in household water savings, one glance will tell you that any showerhead claiming to save 770 gallons of water a week is bogus, but that’s what the flyer for the LivingWise shower head from Oxgenics and Xcel Energy claims. I was curious about exactly how false the numbers were.

With any data, you have to decide which averages you’re going to use — since different researchers have been known to find different data — and then make certain assumptions. With this in mind, I am using the EPA‘s average numbers for shower use, assuming that each person (out of an average 2.4 person home) is taking one shower a day. I am also assuming that the Xcel/Oxygenics shower head is in compliance with the 1.5 gallons per minute low-flow standard. Finally, given that the apocalypse has not yet happened, I am assuming there are still seven days in a week. Risky territory, I know, but now you know the foundation I’m working with. So, here we go:

2.4 showers a day times 8 minutes per shower times 7 days in week with a standard 2.5 gallon per minute shower head only uses 336 gallons in a week total. There aren’t even 770 gallons a week to save.

In order to save 770 gallons a week, still using the other averages, you’d have to save 5.73 gallons per minute off every shower. This means that in order for the Xcel/Oxygenics 1.5 gallons/minute high-efficiency shower head to save that huge amount of water, what they consider an average-flow shower head has to be above 7.2 gallons/minute. Problem is, the max flow shower head you can get since 1992 is a 2.5 gallon/minute shower head and the EPA estimates that 10% of the remaining big ol’ shower heads are getting replaced every year. So unless you’re using those giant, frying pan shower heads from a 1970s swinger pad as your average, you are lying.

Lots of water to distract you from the alien invasion

The part that grates me the most is that energy companies (who should know better) are endorsing these numbers. Maybe they’re just trying to appear like good stewards of the environment, or maybe it’s that sad green trend of the ends justifying the means, but it’s hard enough to get people to take energy efficiency seriously without adding in misinformation.

If I get updated info, I’ll certainly visit this issue again and correct any assumptions I may have made (I’m watching you, apocalypse). That said, neither Xcel Energy nor Oxygenics returned my phone calls on the matter. I’ll have more in the comments (including a statement from an energy savings insider).

“Free nachos” agenda, I  still await your delicious propaganda.

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Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with a 3.5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) 

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